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Best of the Web

Best of the Web

For the last couple of weeks we have been looking at the macro, or big-picture view, of Web stories.  Starting with location-based stories, we showcased some that revolve around a common place or culture.  Last week we saw that the whole is often greater than the sum of its parts through the role of data in storytelling.  Continuing along the path of big-picture storytelling, this week’s selections look at projects that are built out of collaboration. It is the combination of individual experiences and stories, that when told together give a wider perspective.

Pine Ridge Community Project

National Geographic photographer Aaron Huey spent eight years documenting life on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation.  With so many individual personal stories coming out of the reservation, Huey realized he wouldn’t be able to tell all the stories he wanted to tell from Pine Ridge.  Looking for a way to give the community a voice, Huey partnered with artist Jonathan Harris’ Cowbird project to embed a Cowbird collection of Pine Ridge stories as a part of the National Geographic story.  The Cowbird project is a modern day campfire created by Jonathan Harris, a common platform for people to discover and share stories.

What’s going on… now?

In response to the civil unrest and challenges of his generation, in May of 1971, Marvin Gaye’ released the song “What’s Going On.”  A year later he would make a historic statement by performing the song, a rally cry to examine societal issues, at the Kennedy Center.  Forty years later the Kennedy Center celebrated the performance by re-imagining the concert with Grammy award winner John Legend.  The concert marked the launching of an online collaborative project that provides tools and resources for young people to examine themes from the song and respond with their own artistic statements.

Mapping Main Street

Main Street USA is a ubiquitous term used to describe “Anytown” America; it has become a phrase that that evokes the idea of classic Americana.  The thing is, there are 10,466 Main Streets in the United States and Americana is varied from town to town and state to state.  In an initiative of the Association of Independents in Radio and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Mapping Main Street is a collaborative documentary project that aims to collect stories from the Main Streets of  America by soliciting viewers to contribute their Main Street stories.

The Genographic Project

Since 2005 National Geographic has been working on the story of the greatest journey ever told, the human story.  The project is a collaborative project like no other, using DNA samples from more than 580,000 participants, the project analyzes historical patterns in DNA, shining a new light on the story of human origins.

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